EARLY LIFE EXPERIENCES INFLUENCE SEIZURE SUSCEPTIBILITY OF 14-DAY OLD RAT PUPS IN A DAM-DEPENDENT AND SEX-DEPENDENT MANNER
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Epilepsy is a devastating disorder characterized by recurrent seizures. The pathophysiology of the disorder is not well understood. In this study the effects of early life, including pre- and post-natal, experiences on the seizure susceptibility of offspring was determined. Sprague-Dawley rats were air transported prior to breeding (In-House), on gestation day 9 (G9), or G16. The maternal behaviour was scored from P2-P13. On P14, seizure susceptibility of pups was assessed by randomly assigning the pups into Naïve (control), Saline, lipopolysaccharides (LPS; 200 ?g/kg), Kainic acid (KA; 1.75 mg/kg) or Febrile Convulsion (FC; LPS followed by KA) groups. No effect of prenatal transport was found on seizure susceptibility. Licking and grooming (LG) maternal behaviour was associated with higher FC seizure susceptibility of offspring. Male pups were more susceptible to FC seizure than female pups. These results emphasize the dam-dependent and sex-dependent effects of early life experiences on seizure susceptibility of offspring.